Ahead of the April 11 governorship and state house of assembly elections, some members of the National Youth Service Corps, who are Independent National Electoral Commission ad hoc staff in Akwa Ibom State, have fled the state.
Many of the youth corps members, who spoke with journalists in Uyo on Thursday, said they had sent ‘Save Our Soul’ letter to the Director General, National Youth Service Corps through the state corps coordinator, Ngozi Chukwuka.
The leader of the group, who can only be identified as Asuquo for security reasons, said many of them became objects of attack following the unavailability of sensitive materials in polling units.
He added that many of the youth corps members who had been trained by INEC and used in the presidential and national assembly elections and who are not from Akwa Ibom, had fled the state.
He said, “At Ward 11, Unit 2, Nkemba, Uyo, we were sent there without sensitive materials. And at Aka in Uyo, Ward One, Unit One, there was no election there, yet the result was declared.
“Because of threats to lives of many of our members following the presidential and national assembly elections, many youth corps members who are not from Akwa Ibom, have left the state.
“And many of the people you are going to see on the fields are ex-corps members who did not have anything to do after they graduated.”
He stated that the voters did not believe that INEC did not supply them with sensitive materials as they had believed that they (the INEC ad hoc staff) were hoarding the materials for politicians that would pay handsomely.
He appealed to the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Austin Okojie to ensure the availability of materials at the polling units before they are sent out to the field to conduct the governorship and state house of assembly elections.
The SOS appeal read, “We the undersigned youth corps members who are doing our national service in Akwa Ibom State and who have been recruited as ad hoc staff by the Independent National Electoral Commission have decided to send this ‘Save our Soul’ appeal to you to come to our aid.
“Sir, we are constraint to write to you with respect to the forthcoming governorship and house of assembly election coming up on April 11.
“Our experience during the last presidential election, where we were sent to the field without result sheets and other sensitive materials, exposed us to extreme danger, and this calls for sober reflection.
“We only have God to thank that we lost only one female member in Abak and we do not want a repeat of it.
“To this end, sir, we are appealing to you to use your good office to direct the REC to ensure that no youth corps member should be sent out for electoral duties without giving him/her all the materials needed for the elections.
“Equally important, sir, is the issue of security which must be put in place to ensure the safety of every youth corps member employed on electoral duties.”
Chukwuka, said the people that wrote the letter are not NYSC members as the organization had tried to trace their data from the system without success.
“The people are not our corps members going by their call up numbers. We are not able to trace their data and their identities in our system.
“However, we went ahead and called their next of kins should we have such numbers or names in our system, but we did not find any.
“By the way, the most important thing is that in the next 20 to 30 minutes I should be forwarding the letter to INEC as anonymous. That is the first step I will take.
“And I don’t know why they should write such a thing today that is just merely one day to the election. How do I send it to my Director General? They should have written it at least, yesterday.
“However, I will still send it to our headquarters,” she said.
Don’t forget to share this news with your friends using the Share buttons below…